NEW YORK (AP) — Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber said Friday a new downtown Miami stadium is essential to complete plans for an expansion team that would be owned by former English star David Beckham.
MLS announced plans for the team in February, but Beckham's proposed Port of Miami site has run into opposition.
Garber, speaking during his annual meeting with the Associated Press Sports Editors, said the league doesn't "believe any site other than the downtown site will work for us." But, he added, there are other waterfront sites "that might make sense."
Beckham had an option to buy an expansion team at a discounted price as part of contract to join the Los Angeles Galaxy in 2007.
"There's not a specific timetable in terms of days or weeks of months," Garber said. "But David has exercised his option. He has a period of time in which to finalize an ownership group, round out his ownership group and finalize a site, and we can't let that option hang out forever."
New York City and Orlando, Fla., join the league next year, and Atlanta becomes the league's 22nd team in 2017. No timetable has been set for Miami to start play.
Garber said the Atlanta team, which is headed by Falcons owner Arthur Blank, cost an expansion fee of $70 million — $30 million less than the price of New York City FC.
NYCFC will start play at Yankee Stadium and is searching for a site to build its own stadium.
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